Looking for a great mentor to guide you in your business? Consider an accountability partner. My relationship with with my accountability partner, Jan Wencel of Spark Productivity was recently mentioned in the Toilet Paper Entreprenuer (TPE) Blog and in the July 2009 Issue of the Women Business Owners Digest.
Jan and I met over 3 years ago at a NAPO conference. We walked out of the closing session together and started discussing our (very similar) goals for the direction we were each hoping to take our respective businesses. We were both looking to expand our practice to include more business consulting and training, and were exploring unchartered territory with regards to marketing and customizing our offerings for this specific niche. Not having a mentor in the industry who had done this before, we both looked to each other and thought it would be a good idea to stay in touch and discuss our progress. We agreed to speak monthly at first, which then evolved to weekly calls and now bi-weekly.
During our calls we report in on goals we set on the previous call, problem solve, hold each other’s feet to the fire, share new ideas, act as a sounding board, create materials together, offer general support, cheerlead for one another and serve as mentors for each other. We utilize an Accountability Report every time to keep us on task and to help create structure to our calls.
An Accountability Partner can be used as a powerful productivity tool. I get far more accomplished knowing Jan’s going to ask me about my progress, work through issues with me faster than I would on my own, and push me just a little bit outside my comfort zone to build the business I really want, than I could ever do alone.
Do you use an Accountability Partner? How did you find them? What results to you realize from that relationship? How do you structure the partnership for mutual benefit and maximum results?
If you don’t use one now, I highly recommend it. Let me know how it goes!